We’re recapping the White House Correspondents’ Dinner from Saturday night with a special Tick Tock. Enjoy as we take you through the night.
By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry
5:30 p.m.: I meet up with Eddie at a shitty McDonald’s in Adams Morgan as the sky opens up to a downpour. Eddie is visibly pissed. He had his umbrella in hand and left it since (he says) weather reports declared that it wouldn’t rain until around 11 p.m. That’s right, we start the evening with Eddie blaming the media.
5:45 p.m. Peter, Eddie and I convene at the Washington Hilton bar to inhale Cokes as we mentally prepare our plan of attack for the evening.
6 p.m. We approach the escalators and are turned away from going downstairs because we need to show the security man a copy of our invitation. He says he knows its stupid, but it’s the way it is. Our knight in shining armor, HuffPost‘s Ryan Grim approaches and hands me what is comparable to contraband — a photocopy invitation of one of the pre-parties. He has several copies.
6 :10 p.m. And we’re in. We’ve entered the Atlantic/NJ/CBS pre-party, where the star of the evening is actress Claire Danes. She’s there as a guest of CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer. Her brother tags along. Nonetheless, Schieffer stays close by Danes. Asked if he has the best guest of the night, he says, “I mean, it’s Claire Danes, what more do I need to say?”
6:19 p.m. Outdoor parties are the loser of the evening. It’s cold, damp and people are on a mad hunt for the bars. But we also spot our first WHCD big butt of the night; or perhaps that’s just an ill-fitting coat.
6:34 p.m. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) enters Atlantic fest. Mother Jones and MSNBC Contributor David Corn is here with the lead singer of OK GO. This was the big q of the night at this party — who is David Corn with? NJ Publicist Taylor West tells me FishbowlDC had better get to the bottom of this.
6:40 p.m. We’re now mingling out in the hallway, watching Bloomberg’s Stephanie Green interview model Elle MacPherson, who is wearing a high slitted sleeveless black gown, similar to what Angelina Jolie wore to the Oscars. We hear Stephanie conclude her interview by saying, “Thank you so much. I love your underwear!” Whoa! What? We asked Stephanie if she had said what we thought she did. She said what many inevitably say to reporters: “You’re not quoting me on this, are you?”
6:42 p.m. The Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab gives Eddie the first cold shoulder of the day — it’s actually FBDC’s second bout of coldness from her in a 24-hour time frame. Don’t worry, there will be more.
6:43 p.m. Shock of all shocks, Politico‘s Mike Allen has his face buried in his Blackberry.
6:44 p.m. We wander into the TWT reception hoping to meet Uggie the dog and hear he was just there and just left. We meet TWT‘s Kerry Picket and her boyfriend, whom the blond towers over. The party ironically serves Mexican food. WSJ‘s Neil King is here with his daughter Lilly.
7 p.m. Next stop: Bloomberg reception, where NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg is holding court in the center of the room in a purple bow-tie. A partygoer sees a black woman across the room and asks, “Is that Michelle Obama?” Actor Kevin Spacey is also here and singer Alicia Keys. Guests attack them for photographs like a bunch of star-crazed idiots.
7:10 p.m. Back out in the hallway, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer asks Peter if he’s “just here to watch the hotties go by.”
7:15 p.m. We run into Pollster Frank Luntz, who’s dressed in a goofy striped suit and his signature sneakers. He’s miserable, he says. “Too many people, too chaotic. That said, there’s nothing like it.” He answers questions about his sneakers, saying that at this point he has maybe 35 pairs. He has three homes so he says he has to split them up. Luntz surmises by the end of the year he’ll have between 40 and 50 pairs. He explains that when he worked for a previous network they made him wear a tie, which he found so confining. So he decided they can force him from the neck up but from the feet down? That area is all his. No idea who owns the area between his neck and feet.
7:17 p.m. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says it’s “great to see so many young people here.” He forgets he’s not at a campaign rally.
7:20 p.m. Took a bathroom break. Walked in behind Schieffer. Walked out behind Luntz.
7:24 p.m. Lady drops tray of wine glasses. They shatter. Glass everywhere. She’s all nonchalant about it. No one hurt.
7:25 p.m.: James Davis, spokesman for the GOP Convention in Tampa, is bragging to Politico‘s Charlie Mahtesian that he ate 11 onions in 8 minutes during last year’s Vidalia Onion eating contest, which he nearly won. Because of the WHCA dinner, he’s missing this year’s onion-eating contest.
7:26 p.m.: HuffPost‘s Laura Bassett “on a mission” to find actress Reese Witherspoon. Just saw lead actress from “B in Apartment 3” have to find out her name.
7:27 p.m.: NYT‘s Brian Stelter saunters by holding hands with his girlfriend, who has donned a bright red dress. “She is cute,” says Eddie. And we spot another set of WHCD big butts.
7:28 p.m. Rep. Fred Upton‘s niece, model Kate Upton, walks by. Heads turn. Onlookers try to figure out who she is. Because she looks like SOMEONE. Peter says he’s going to text his neighbor’s horny son to find out who she is.
7:29 p.m.: MSNBC Commentator Richard Wolffe escorting Chef Jose Andres for the second night in a row. Andres is responsible for the outstanding fare at The Atlantic‘s David Bradley’s Friday night soiree that included things like crushed beat on toast and crispy avocado.
7:30 p.m. The balding gentleman with Elle MacPherson casually places his hand on her ass on their way down the hallway toward the ballroom.
7: 40 p.m. Eyes turn as CBS Chief White House Norah O’Donnell walks by in a long, bright yellow sequined dress that’s scooped out low in the back. Bystanders remark favorably on her attire. On her arm was Chef Geoff (Mr. Norah O’Donnell) escorting her. No one remarked on his tux.
7:42 p.m. Woody Harrelson seen leaving reception. Corona still in hand. Though he spent much of the weekend glued to Steve Schmidt‘s side, we hear he was flirting heavily with certain female reporters over the weekend.
7:43 p.m.: Always the charmer, Eddie rushes up to actress Kerry Washington, whose wearing a lovely long peach gown, and tells her how great she looks. Washington stars in the new series “Scandal” in which she plays a lawyer who has slept with the President of the United States.
7:44 p.m. Tom Hanks‘s son, Colin, who is the spitting image of his father, is mobbed by partygoers and friends in the hallway.
7:45 p.m. Garden brunch extraordinaire Tammy Haddad heads toward the ballroom with the 4’11” Daniel Radcliffe in a sparkly red and black blazer.